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Progressive Parent Series

FAQ's About Exercise During Pregnancy


Is Exercise During Pregnancy Safe?

In general, exercise is safe for women with normal pregnancies who have no pre-existing health problems, but you should always get approval from your doctor before starting any fitness program.

Why Should I Exercise During Pregnancy?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)*, pregnancy exercise:

  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
  • Gives you energy
  • Improves your mood
  • Improves your posture
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance and
  • Helps you sleep better

The Perfect Pregnancy Workout targets specific muscle groups and adds these additional features:

  • Develops mental discipline to control labor pain
  • Tones your lower body to handle the demands of labor and birth
  • Strengthens your upper body to lift and hold your baby after birth and
  • Increases muscle tone to make it easier to lose weight after your baby is born

According to a 1997 SUNY Buffalo study, extremely overweight women who become pregnant can reduce their risk of gestational diabetes by exercising. A recent report in Shape magazine stated that women who gain more than 38 pounds while pregnant have a 40% higher risk of developing breast cancer after menopause.

Is there anything that I should or shouldn’t do when I exercise now that I am pregnant?

The ACOG offers these general guidelines for exercise during pregnancy*:

  • After 20 weeks of pregnancy, avoid doing any exercises on your back.
  • Avoid brisk exercise in hot, humid weather or when you are sick with fever
  • Wear cool, comfortable clothing that will help you to remain cool.
  • Wear a bra that fits well and gives a lot of support to help protect your breasts.
  • Drink plenty of water to help keep you from overheating and dehydrating.
  • Make sure you consume the extra 300 calories a day you need during pregnancy.
  • Try to avoid activities that call for jumping, jarring motions or quick changes in direction that may strain your joints and cause injury.

The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs take away the guesswork of pregnancy exercise by leading you through exercises that are both safe and effective.

I’ve heard that it is only safe to do exercises that I did before I was pregnant. Is this true?

No, it is not true. If it has been a while since you’ve exercised, you should start slowly, but there is no reason that you shouldn’t begin something new. The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs offer exercise variations to fit all levels, so beginners can start out slowly while advanced exercisers can challenge themselves by choosing more difficult options.

Can I exercise to lose weight while pregnant?

No, you should not exercise to lose weight while pregnant, but staying active during pregnancy will make it easier to get your body in shape after the baby is born.

How late in my pregnancy can I do The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs?

With your doctor's permission to exercise, you can do The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs from the beginning of your pregnancy all the way to the end of your third trimester.

Do I need any special equipment to do The Perfect Pregnancy Workout?

For both DVDs, you will need some pillows to prop yourself up during abdominal exercises and a chair for balance. For vol. 1, Intermediate and advanced exercisers may want to add hand weights (or soup cans) for upper body exercises and a step (optional) for step-ups. For vol.2, it is helpful to have a scarf or yoga strap and intermediate and advanced exercisers may want to use a thick book or yoga block (optional).

How long are The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs?

Vol. 1 is 43 minutes long: 5 minute warm-up, 33 minute workout, 5 minute cool down. There is also a 12-minute instructional section which explains proper exercise technique and important considerations for pregnant exercisers. Vol. 2 is 33 minutes long with a five minute instructional section.

What makes The Perfect Pregnancy Workout better than other exercise DVDs?

  1. Exercise Variations for Beginning Through Advanced Exercisers

    The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs are customizable workouts appropriate to any fitness level. This means that a beginner who finds that she is stronger after exercising for a while can try advanced versions of exercises without having to get a new video that may be too difficult for her overall. Likewise, an advanced exerciser can tone down her workout instead of skipping it on a low energy day. EVERYONE has low energy days during pregnancy.

  2. Pregnancy Appropriate and Easy-to-Follow Exercises

The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs are not standard workouts led by a woman who happens to be pregnant, it is a series of exercises specifically designed to condition pregnant women to meet the demands of labor and birth:

    • Lower body exercises make the body strong and limber to help withstand the strain of maintaining difficult birthing positions
    • Back and arm exercises help reduce back pain throughout pregnancy and enable you to do the constant lifting and holding your baby will need after birth
    • Mental exercises help you develop discipline to control labor pain and
    • Plenty of Kegel exercises placed throughout the workout will help you maintain the strength of your pelvic floor muscles and reduce or eliminate incontinence
    • Stretching and lengthening exercises relieve tension and muscles aches and pain caused by your changing body
  1. World-Class Instruction

    The Perfect Pregnancy Workout vols. 1 and 2 are led by world-class acrobats, Karyne and Sarah Steben, respectively. The twins are gymnasts and trapeze artists who were featured performers with the elite Cirque du Soleil troupe for eleven years. More about Karyne and Sarah Steben

  1. Inspiring Imagery and Sound

    Evocative lighting, stimulating images and motivating music combine to make these workouts a feast for the senses. Karyne and Sarah Steben’s soothing voices, superb muscle tone and grace make them role models you’ll look forward to seeing again and again.


*From the publication “Exercise During Pregnancy” published by ACOG.

 

All DVDs Produced by Far Star Productions, Inc.
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All rights reserved.